Pikesville Senior High School opened at Smith Avenue and Labyrinth Road nearly 47 years ago. To this day, it has served as a place of education for the suburban youth of Baltimore County.
Serving the mostly Jewish population of the local area had been the norm at Pikesville High school since its opening. The demographics began to change in the late 70s, as a former student remembers: “At that time, probably 80 percent of the school was Jewish, and they started to bring buses of kids from the city to Pikesville High, it was definitely a change from what we were used to, we were used to knowing everyone we went to school with.”
Integration of city kids into the school wasn’t the only integration going on at PHS. Looking back into the past, 1978 marked the first year that physical education became co-ed.
A comment found in a yearbook from Miss Joan Holzberg, a P.E. teacher at the time, made it clear that “No complaints were made by the students because they realized it’s the law and they had to accept it. Co-education tends to bring the department and students closer together.”
The small school size was destined to change as well. Estimates of the schools original roster account for nearly 670 students, though today the school retains nearly 900+ students. A former student remembers how the community's growth nearly 33 years ago led to overcrowding. “I remember in 1977 they started to have the educational trailers outside” said Drew Billig. “ ... Probably because there were too many of us in the school.”
What is now the school grounds was once home to Dr. William Wyse, a successful doctor and member of the Baltimore County Medical Association, born and raised in Pikesville in 1866. The towering oak trees (seen in this article’s featured photo) now bring shade to students walking to and from school during the summer months and were once part of the driveway to the doctor’s home.
Pikesville High School was deemed to be in the top 5 percent of the academically strongest institutes in 2005 by Newsweek Magazine. Students who have graduated from Pikesville High have been accepted to universities from NYU and Stanford to Yale and Vanderbilt.
Check out Pikesville High’s website and calendar to learn about enrollment, sporting events and more.